Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

His columns are archived here

Posted 11.24.03


Giggles are good for you

I had to go to Alberta to make people laugh. It's a tough job but someone has to do it. Actually, Alberta is a wonderful place. People are friendly and happy. And taxes are so much lower. Hmmm.

A guy came up to me after the show and said: "You guys killed." That's the strange thing about comedy. If you succeed, people "get killed". He added: "You made us laugh. And we need to laugh!"

How true. We need to laugh. Why hasn't someone done an experiment to find out how long a human being can survive without laughing? Call it a humour-deprivation tank. If you can go a week without laughing you become an honorary Baptist.

He agreed that it was a great idea. And I suggested that we make up a proposal and then maybe we could get some government money. He laughed.

I was at a showcase for Alberta theatres in Red Deer. They call Red Deer "Canada's Cultural Capital." Now that's funny. To me culture is cuisine. And if you go to a franchise restaurant in Montreal it's a step down. But in Red Deer it's a step up!

We did a Ralph Klein joke. I noticed the crowd was defensive, like they didn't want to laugh at him. I said to the guy: "You really like Ralph out here, don't you?" He answered: "Oh yeah. You ever seen him speak? In person?" I admitted that I hadn't. "He's really funny. He makes us laugh!" he said.

So that's why they like Ralph Klein. "But you don't want to laugh at him because you like him too much?" I ventured. "Yeah," he answered. "We only laugh at people we don't like. For instance, Jean Chrétien!"

"But we like him and still laugh at him," I protested.

"You can do both at the same time?" He asked, surprised.

"That's because we Easterners are so sophisticated."

"Then you must laugh twice as much as we do," he said.

"We need to," I offered, thinking of taxes again.

Laughter is a way to positively deal with the frustrations of life. And to this end there are "Laughter Clubs" now springing up all over the world. And I don't mean comedy clubs. No. In these clubs they laugh without jokes!

It began in the east. The real east: India. They start with deep-breathing exercises. Then a group chant in unison: "Ho-Ho-Ha-Ha-Ho-Ho-Ha-Ha," which slowly increases in speed. Then members run through a medley of seven different types of laughs (including the hearty laugh, dancing laugh, swinging laugh and cocktail laugh). The forced laughter soon gives way to an epidemic of spontaneous giggles, chuckles and guffaws. Participants leave the session feeling refreshed, relaxed, and re-energized. Many members claim that the laughter clubs have changed their entire outlook on life.

Creators of the laughter clubs claim that laughter is the easiest form of meditation. They also point out that the reason there are wars is because there is so much war inside of us as individuals. But the laughter helps diffuse those hard emotions and brings people together. And just as a good sense of humour leads to more laughter, the opposite is also true: laughter helps us develop our sense of humour.

So to save the world, we should all laugh. Think globally. Laugh locally. I propose we start the "Lakeshore Laughter Club." Maybe we can get a government grant...